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Boston’s Bizarre Attractions

If you want a vacation to be remembered, it is a good idea to do something unusual. Down in Boston, it is quite easy because of the many unusual attractions that the location sports. Forget the old tour book, keep your smartphone maps and directions away and take in these weird as well as unusual Boston attractions instead, for a visit that is sure to be memorable.

Damnation Alley

Visiting Diagon Alley may not be possible ever, but your Boston vacation can include a visit to Damnation Alley. This 7-foot wide passageway on State Street was actually named Change Alley. Merchants frequently used this route to get to State Street from Quincy Market quickly. The narrow pathway is said to have caused many traffic jams here with wagoners meeting up head on in the middle of the street with neither willing to move back and giving way to the other.

Needless to say, a good bit of cursing and shouting is bound to have taken place when such circumstances cropped up and this gave the street its popular name of Damnation Alley. The street’s unusual name has actually been used as the title of a science fiction movie!

Warren Anatomical Museum

You are sure to have visited a number of museums, some sporting a collection of unusual artifacts but chances are, you have never come across an anatomical museum like this one. This museum owes its existence  to Dr. John Collins Warren who collected pathological and anatomical specimens for research purposes. When the good doctor retired, he left his vast collection to Harvard University.

Although only a fraction of the 15,000  specimens are on display, you will find some extraordinary items here including the skull of Phineas Gage who, astoundingly, lived after a 13-pound tamping iron was blown through this head. The inhaler used in the first ether-assisted surgery, conjoined fetal skeletons and other peculiar objects are displayed here for those who have a penchant for the strange and unusual.

The Boston Stone

Does it remind you of Stonehenge? Well, this stone is neither as old nor as mysterious as the Stonehenge, but it does pique your curiosity as well as your imagination. In an alleyway near the famed Union Oyster House, you will find this stone embedded at the base of a building. A simple granite stone that bears the inscription “Boston Stone 1737”, has caused many a passer-by and historians to wonder what it was used for and why it came to be here.

It is said that it was an import from England by Thomas Childs who ran a paint mill and that he used it to grind pigment for his colors. When the paint mill was demolished, the stone was uncovered and placed here at the foundation of the new building.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/www.freedigitalphotos.net